Monday, October 21, 2019

Comentarios From Maria: Republicans Are Beating The War Drums Once Again

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The last time the Republican Party was in the White House, fear and uncertainty gripped the nation given the new threat of terrorism after the September 11 attacks. Republicans and their advisors decided to sell the American public a lie in order to go to war with Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attacks of that dark day. Today, facing new threats, the presumed Republican presidential candidates are now ready to enter Syria by bombing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There is no doubt that ISIS and the situation is the Middle East is incredibly complex and needs immediate attention especially because the situation seems to be deteriorating. President Obama has already told us that we must defeat ISIS, yet, what republicans like senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are proposing is far from the political reality of the region and the world. Last Saturday, Ted Cruz, while speaking to a group of republican voters and trying to galvanize the party’s base, he declared that we must send ISIS back to the Stone Age, insinuating that we should blindly bomb them, without a strategy or plan, just like the Bush administration had in the past.

In a similar vein, Senator Rand Paul said President Obama should immediately present Congress with a war plan against Syria, in light of the recent gruesome decapitations of American journalists by ISIS, the Senator believes war on the U.S. has already been declared.

This synopsis  seems unlikely at this time considering that President Obama and our allies around the world are seeking to establish a coalition of countries and a clear strategy to stop this new threat. The last time we found ourselves in this situation, President Bush and his war hawks decided to go to Iraq, under the pretext that there were weapons of mass destruction that never appeared.  We do not need that kind of reaction, without considering the objectives in the region, clarifying who our allies are to help carry the weight of the operation, and above all, to have correct information about whom we can and cannot support in Syria.

If we learned anything from the Iraq war, it is that Republican rhetoric about going to war is not appropriate for our codependent world, where it is necessary to build coalitions with our allies and not appear arrogant or insensitive to what is happening in the region.

During his presidency, we have seen that President Obama is much more capable of defending our country. We cannot forget that it was under his watch that we found Osama Bid Laden. In Iraq, we have repelled ISIS three times while they were threatening the lives of several religious minorities, American workers and U.S. property. Recently, the President has been meeting with our allies to urge NATO to act multilaterally to defeat ISIS.

They say that there hasn’t been a war Republicans haven’t loved and this situation does not seem to be the exception if we are to listen to Ted Cruz and Rand Paul’s rhetoric. The American people are sick of war and appreciate a leader who is methodical and can think clearly before putting our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers at risk by declaring war.

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic